Genesis and modern science

One of the most complete systems cosmological views within monotheism presented in the Bible — the book of Genesis, and even for this reason alone it should be emphasized. But for this, there are other good reasons as well as because of its strange fate Bible in the eyes of countless followers of religion, considering it as a holy book, was for tens of centuries and still today, infallible authority in the matter of creation.

Consequently, the Bible has played a unique and, I must say, very sad role in the history of science. How many scientists avoided in time address the problem of the origin of worlds, from the scientific point of view, or because of their religion or the fear of the possible tragic consequences of the charges of heresy! How many scientists to this day as if deprived of reason, as soon as they begin to deal with this issue, trying in vain to reconcile the story, attributed to Moses, with the latest scientific discoveries!

In the Bible, perhaps more than in any other drevnesvyaschennom text, creation of the world is the result of the will of God, to achieve a certain goal. It is not a matter of chance or caprice. Doubt as to the creation of the universe and man — is not only to undermine the foundations of religion, but also undermine the whole social morality which justifies this religion. It is clear that the first of those who have dared to do it, it took a lot of courage.
The text of Genesis

In order to facilitate the reader to read our criticisms of the book of Genesis, we consider it appropriate to reproduce all her first poems with the most closely related to cosmology:

"1. At the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2. And the earth was without form and void, and darkness lay over the abyss, and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters. *

* (Some want to see in these words of the claim. That at first there was chaos that God simply put in order. Then this first paragraph should serve as a chapter title, summarizing its content. Course, the first compiler of the book of Genesis, which were under the influence of the Babylonians and Egyptians, assumed the existence of the primary chaos. However, very quickly the point of view of the omnipotence of God led to a different interpretation, then became dominant, and it was then added to the first sentence. Currently, no one religion, which is based on the Bible (as in Jews and Catholics or Protestants) are not supposed creation of the world out of chaos, in the opinion of the representatives of all the religions, God created the world out of nothing.)

3. And God said, Let there be light. And there was light.

4. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

5. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

6. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And it was so.

7. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. And it was so.

8. And God called the expanse heaven. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.

9. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven, in one place, and let the dry land. And it was so. And the collected water under the sky in its place, and it was so.

10. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering of waters seas. And God saw that it was good.

11. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the likeness of her, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in it on the ground. And it was so.

12. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and likeness, and the fruit tree yielding fruit, whose seed according to its kind (in the ground). And God saw that it was good.

13. And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.

14. And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to the earth and lighting for signs and for seasons, and to divide the day from the night, and for days and years.

15. And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth. And it was so.

16. And God made two lights: Great greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars.

17. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.

18. And rule over the day and night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

19. And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. "
Mistakes of Genesis is scientifically

Not wanting to analyze in this text each word, we can even just reading some conclusions on scientific knowledge compilers Bible (now leaving aside all philosophical questions.)

1) The land is located in the center of the universe. It was created in the first place, and that God has placed around her all the luminaries. Land, therefore, is fixed and does not rotate, but rather that the sun revolves around the earth.

2) divide the day from the night (vs. 4) occurred during the first day of the work of God, while the sun and the moon appeared only on the fourth day. Thus, the onset of the day does not depend on the sun, the sun is not the cause of the day, it is shown throughout the day, adding his own brilliance and like "heading" day.

However, a few more in the Bible states that God, desiring to show Job that he is not familiar with all the wonders of nature, created by them, Lord, asks proudly:

"12. Did the you when an order in his life and pointed a morning dawn its place.

13. That it has reached the end of the earth and the wicked be shaken out of bear? "(The Book of Job, ch. 42).

Thus, the book of Genesis states categorically that it is God, not the Sun controls the onset of dawn, and that it is everywhere in the world comes together, the latter is very easy to explain if we hold the view that the Earth is not round, but flat.

It is very interesting to note that God clarifies in the same interview that the Earth is not isolated in space, and is supported by:

"4. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me if you know.

5. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? Or who stretched the line upon it.

6. What are the foundations thereof, or who laid its cornerstone.

7. When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? "

3) Clouds are due to the evaporation of water is not from the surface of the Earth, and are contained in a "heavenly container" called hard — they are a consequence of the separation of water from the ground water of the sky, which made a god on the second day.

4) Only after the creation of the earth, after the creation of day and night, the sky and the ground water, even after the creation of plants, God created the sun, moon and stars. Following the Bible, we must clearly reject all later scientific theories that indicate the opposite chronological order: the stars and the sun, planets, and moons.

On the latter point, some defenders of religion like to use verse 6 of the book of Job, which we have just quoted, in order to "fix" the book of Genesis. This attempt, some "desperate", underscores the contradictions that exist between the various texts of the Bible in regard to the creation of the world, and which seem to be associated with cosmogonic traditions are somewhat different from each other. These contradictions are manifested in the second chapter of Genesis, which is presented, starting from verse 4, the second version of creation. In this version, where the cosmogony, in the true sense of the word is a very small place, but where the details the story of Adam, a person appearing before the plants and animals. At the same time in the first chapter, that man is made for them later. In addition, a person commits the original sin here, of which the first chapter is not a word.

Jewish priests, reproduce one by one the various legends, not caring about their apparent differences, thereby pointing to the complete lack of scientific spirit. Of course, at that time such mistakes they could be somewhat forgiven. But what about those who are trying today to insist on a specific scientific meaning (even in the form of symbolic interpretation) of this chaotic compilation with its categorical and absolute claims of the first chapter, which we have above!
Genesis from a historical point of view

Based on our brief criticism, we can conclude that the astronomical knowledge of the ancient Jews were very primitive. Of course, the idea that the Earth is at the center of the universe, was recognized in the ancient and medieval times by all but a few of the Pythagoreans or very few daring minds, such as Nicholas of Cusa. Of course, the idea of the firmament, ascribing reality domed blue heavens, which, as it seems to be rising above our heads, also shared by all the astronomers of antiquity. This view persisted until the Renaissance. However, the belief in the absence of a causal link between the day and the sun shows a very, very low level of scientific knowledge. This is explained, apparently misunderstanding the Hebrews of the role played by the atmosphere of the Earth's surface is illuminated before sunrise. The fact that the Hebrews were the Earth like a flat disk, not help them to solve the problem.

Strange and naive story of the exploits of Joshua stopped the sun over Gibeon and the moon in the valley Ayalonskoy for the whole day (Joshua, ch. X, XII, XIII), also indicates a very poor understanding of celestial phenomena.

Such errors are often surprised by the scientific historians and astronomers to study the Bible, the more so that the production of its first books ("Pentateuch"), which began not earlier than the IX. BC. e., was finally completed only in 444, ie, to the time when science has in some countries of the East a good standard.

Some religious-minded persons have expressed a paradoxical assertion that the book of Genesis is a sort of divine revelation, the chosen people, which he reverently preserved, not understanding, unfortunately, it is completely meaningless. This hypothesis belongs to those who can not, obviously, be discussed in a serious book. On the other hand, some would like to see in ignorance, manifested in the Bible, just a consequence of the religious fanaticism of the Jews. "Science — writes, for example, Gether, — is a joint product of the whole human race, without distinction of race, but this nation, as a people of Israelites, who believed other nations wicked and prohibited any intellectual communication and sharing knowledge with them, was inevitably left out of science. "*

* (Noefer, Histoire de I'astronomie, page 83.)

This harsh criticism contains a grain of truth, but the reality is much more complex. It should not be forgotten in the first place, that the ancient Hebrews were quite poor pastoral and agricultural people, barely subsisted. With respect to fisheries, maritime trade, and even construction of works of art that people are behind in their development of the peoples of the neighboring great empires. Score is not surprising that there has been a delay with respect to scientific development.

As for sectarian religion izrailityan, it is undeniable, but the desire to isolate the ancient Jews, which says Gether, historically explained not a racial pride of the people standing on the side of foreign influence, but, on the contrary, the natural reaction to the many imposed on him and often unpleasant relations with its more powerful neighbors. Territory of Palestine was like a pinched between the territories of Egypt and Assyria the one on the other hand, the Jews were numerous invasions, and for centuries before our era even began to disperse among the other nations. In these circumstances, religion is an important factor that unites nationality, however, this relationship was difficult to establish, and it is often at risk of being violated. History tells us that the cult of Jehovah before he won and was recognized as the only Jehovah God of the Jews, had to endure a difficult struggle with neighboring gods. Even in the time of Solomon, in an era when political centralization accelerated the United Church, the famous temple in Jerusalem, "they have taken Astarte and her priests, bronze arrow, cured of the disease and the bites of poisonous animals. Horses and chariots of Baal drove triumphantly into the temple monastery, sacred priestesses wove for him tents, where they have been faithful to the holidays; mourners mourned the death of Tammuz, Adonis. "*

* (Masrsro, Histoire ancienne des peuples do I'Orient, pp. 405-406.)

Only one or two centuries later (partly as a result of the struggle of the prophets against idolatry) ended with the formation of edinobozhnoy religion and the ancient Israelites worshiped only one of my God, and the worship of taking more and more fanatical character.

In the book of Genesis felt many foreign influences. As far as we can determine their origin, they contain elements of ancient oral tradition: some Egyptian, Babylonian *, ** and even Persian Phoenician legends. *** These legends are suffering the largest scientific errors. As for the final, it was made in the V century. BC. e. priests from Mesopotamia under the direct influence of Babylon. The priests, apparently, even more strongly asserted the power of the creator god, inspired by a monotheistic version of the legend of creation, Marduk. They also tried to support scripture its legislation. In this way they came to the idea to make God work six days and rest on the seventh to legalize an example of the Jehovah's weekly religious ceremonies. But — and this is completely Gether rights — the authors of the Pentateuch is systematically ignored by most of the scientific knowledge of Babylon, as they were in their eyes too closely against foreign religions, especially with magic. In particular, in this era did not make a significant difference — between astronomy and astrology, which was severely condemned by the prophets.

* (In the Bible states: "Moses was well versed in all the sciences, the Egyptians" (Acts, VIII, 22).)

** (Text of Marduk, which we quoted above (page 63 of this book. — Ed.), Makes a number of obvious similarities between the Babylonian tales and the Bible (Genesis). In these stories mention of the flood and the ark, Noah's ark similar .)

*** (These parts of text entered in a very different era, which can easily be shown by the example of two opposing stories of Genesis, which we discussed above. First, the opening paragraph of which were analyzed by us, is known elogisticheskogo: it dates back over ancient times, when the creative power of designated name "Elohim" (the word for perfume or perfume collection.) This shows how much more uncertain was then the idea of one God. second story, which begins in § 4, Ch. II, called yagvisticheskim as God is now operating under the name "Yahweh" (YHWH). description in the story of the Earth before the creation of plants like Palestine during the summer, and can be considered as plausible that this story took its final shape after how in these areas come to the Jews. )
Genesis and modern science

This voluntary ignorance deserved, perhaps, would smile, if it has not led later to much more serious and even tragic consequences. Religion, descended from Judaism, took from her last dogmatic intransigence. It is particularly evident in the Renaissance, when fierce class struggles shaking the foundations of the existing social order. On the authority of the Book of Genesis, ie. ultimately on the authority of the legends of creation Marduk, Congregation of the Index of Forbidden Books in 1616, condemned the Copernican theory, and the Inquisition in 1633 sentenced Galileo to renounce and life imprisonment.

At the same time the Protestants were no less uncompromising than the Catholics, to the effect that for the book of Genesis. For instance, Melanchthon, Luther's friend and companion, confided to his friends that the anxiety that caused him ideas of Copernicus:

"It would be — he said, — encourage the authorities to stifle, by all the means at their disposal, so malicious and contrary to religious doctrine." *

* (These words were put FEMA in his book "Sur l'origine du monde" (p. 22). Fay, which was explicitly Catholic, tried to downplay the significance of such a process of Galileo, showing that Protestants have also been "misled" . We shall see that the English scientist Dzhinc former Protestant blames the Catholic Church for what she burned Giordano Bruno … small snares warring brothers!)

These convictions all the more disgusting because the church itself at a time when it is making an ideological attack on the Greco-Roman world, without hesitation supplemented and corrected the astronomical theory of the Book of Genesis with the theories of Aristotle and Ptolemy. They are not so effaced the memory of people like this would some members of Catholicism.

At the end of the XVII century. Bossyue treated this issue, following the decrees of the Congregation of the Index, and taught his pupil, the son of Louis XIV, the Sun moves around the Earth, "Think, — he said — which runs through Sun swiftness that huge way, which was pointed out to him by Providence."

Many years later, in the Pontifical University of Rome continued to formally teach "good and healthy" astronomical theory, attributed to Moses and refined by Aristotle and Ptolemy.

In our time, in some states in the U.S. (especially in the state of Tennessee) Protestant sects have achieved that in 1925-1926. passed a law banning the teaching of Darwin's theory as contradicting the Bible. In South Africa, the legislatures of the several states banned the show in their territories experience Foucault (proving the rotation of the Earth), as "… wicked theory of the Earth's rotation is in conflict with the Bible, and can only serve to spread atheism and Bolshevik ideas."

As for the Catholic Church, it is a long time trying to keep their irreconcilable positions. Biblical Commission decision of 30 June 1909 although admitted the possibility of a more flexible interpretation of the text of Genesis, however, reiterate that "the Mosaic account of creation is historical and justified objective chronological sequence of real processes."

Number of secondary scholars, such as White or abbot Moreau, tried in the early XX century. again as best as possible to harmonize the biblical text with the latest discoveries in science. Their "theory" often contradict themselves, so contradicted the latest results of astronomy, that the very church leaders do not dare them more support.

Hoping to reunite the Catholic and more scientists supreme head of the Catholic Church at the present time, Pope Pius XII, did not hesitate to November 22, 1951, in a speech to the Pontifical Academy, leave protection of the various statements of the book of Genesis in order to save the idea of creation. * It is with some solemnity joined the theory of "expanding universe" Belgian Abbe Lemaitre, which we will discuss below. This complete rejection of higher church authorities the provisions, to support for nearly two thousand years is unheard of in the history of the church and demonstrates a great victory of modern science. But, as we shall see, the fight was just moved to another ground, its severity did not decrease.

* (For a detailed analysis of the speech entitled "Pope Pius XII and Science", published in the journal "La pensee" (№ 41, 1952) is given in the Appendix. Note that the new position of the Pope in fact contradict his message of September 30, 1942 where Pius XII has supported the principle of biblical inerrancy, ie the absence of errors in the stories of the book of Genesis, but there are contradictions explains only mistakes made by scribes the result of their ignorance.)

Category: The prophecies and predictions, visions and hypotheses

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